2017, Cilt 4, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 053-061
An Alternative Method for Labor Pain: Foot Reflexology
1Gaziosmanpaşa Üniversitesi, Sağlık Bilimleri Fakültesi, Ebelik Bölümü, Tokat, Türkiye
2SANKO Üniversitesi, Sağlık Bilimleri Fakültesi, Hemşirelik Bölümü, Gaziantep, Türkiye
Keywords: Complementary and alternative treatment, foot reflexology, labor pain, nursing/ midwifery

Nowadays reflexology that is used for many areas in notably United States of America and United Kingdom, Belgium and France has become very popular among midwifery and nursing professionals. It has been widely used for both protecting and improving health and palliating some disturbances. For instance; it has been frequently applied for palliating cancer pain and side effects of chemotherapy, improving quality of life, strengthening immune system, regulating blood circulation, relieving anxiety, insomnia, constipation, menopausal symptoms, dysmenorrhea, and postpartum period discomfort and improving lactation. Enkephalines and endorphins are released in response to pressure and dermal exposure revealed by reflexology. By this way, neural transmission of pain signal to the brain is inhibited, pain and anxiety levels decrease and discard of toxins increases as a result of improved lymphatic and blood circulation. Reflexology also increases oxytocin secretion, shortens the duration between contractions, regulates the contractions, facilitates relaxation between contractions, and shortens the period during labor. In this sense, use of foot reflexology should be generalized in obstetrics clinics as a cheap, effective and easily applied midwifery/nursing intervention. In this review, emphasizing the effectiveness of foot reflexology used for labor pain for many years and the importance of its application as one of the midwifery/nursing interventions is aimed.